October 2, 2023
Why bring big round bales to a feedlot and put them in bale feeders when you can let livestock go to them instead? And going to them just might mean positioning bales at key locations within a pasture so cattle and other livestock can stay on pasture for a good portion of the year.
Keith Johnson, Purdue Extension forage specialist, says this innovative concept is known among producers who use it as “bale grazing.”
“It is a winter-feeding method where bales are strategically set out on pasture in the fall when weather conditions are good,” he says. “Then, they’re fed to livestock in the winter in rotation in the pasture using temporary electric fencing.”
To introduce more producers to the concept, two workshops are being offered in Indiana:
Oct. 5 at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Madison, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. local time
Oct. 6 at the Southern Indiana Purdue Agriculture Center, Dubois, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. local time
These twin workshops are sponsored by Purdue Extension, Partners IN Food and Farming, University of Kentucky Extension and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The Indiana Forage Council, Urban Soil Health, Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative and Grazing Systems Supply are supporting the effort.
You will be able to participate in a pasture walk at either location and see how producers who graze livestock position the system for best results. Lunch will be provided. Greg Halich, forage systems economist at the University of Kentucky, will lead the workshop, focusing on how to make the system profitable.
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